wrigley scoreboard featureThe Cubs keep taking care of business on their end, and they’re getting a little help these days, at least in the Wild Card race.

Thanks to the Cardinals – I feel forever unclean – the Cubs are now just 1.5 games back of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot. That’s because the Cardinals once again beat the Bucs, taking the first two games of their three-game set. I think I’m now ready for the Cardinals to lose one to the Pirates, though. It would suck for the Cubs to be this on fire lately and make up virtually no ground on the Cardinals, just to keep those faint Central hopes alive. Having won 9 of 12, the Cardinals have ceded just 2.5 games to the Cubs over the last two weeks even though the Cubs are 12-1.

Elsewhere in the Wild Card race, the Astros shut out the Giants, who’ve fallen to 4.5 games behind the Cubs for the second spot. This time last week, they¬†had that spot. Things change quickly.

The Nationals also lost, putting them now 6.5 back of the Cubs. The loss came to the Dodgers, who hold a 3.5 game advantage over the Giants in the West (and would be a game behind the Cubs if they were in the Wild Card race right now).

The Mets won yet again, and they, too, have a 3.5 game cushion in their division. They’d be three games back of the Cubs if they were in the Wild Card.

Back to the Central: the Cubs are 8.5 games behind the Cardinals, and the Pirates are 7.0 back. That’s the greatest separation in any division outside of the AL Central, and that’s despite the fact that the Pirates have the third best record in baseball and the Cubs have the fourth. That’s how insanely good the Cardinals have been. In most years, we’re dreaming on a division crown at this point.

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